Romans 2:17-24 ESV
“But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth — you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’”
So, if we who are believers in Jesus Christ think we are doing all the right religious things, and so we go through the motions of religious practice, and we think we have all this knowledge that we can teach to others, but then we fail to teach ourselves, what good is all that knowledge and ceremonial religious practices? Not much, is it? And, if while we are preaching against certain sins, we are doing the same or worse, then we are being hypocritical, prideful, unkind, and full of ourselves, are we not?
But is this teaching that all judging is wrong? NO! It is not! But this is where many people take this and other passages like it, because they don’t really pay attention to what is being said, or else they don’t read the whole passage and thus they draw their own conclusions. This is not teaching that all judging is wrong. It is teaching that hypocritical and false judging is wrong. And so I am going to share here some other passages of Scripture that show that all judging is not wrong.
In Galatians 6:1 we read that if a brother or a sister in Christ is caught (in the act of sin, or entrapped, or has fallen back into sin) in any transgression (sin), we who are spiritual (in a right relationship with the Lord) should restore that person in a spirit of gentleness. But we are to keep watch on ourselves, lest we too be tempted. And in James 5:19-20 we read that if a fellow Christian wanders from the truth, whoever brings that wanderer back to walking in obedience to the Lord, he or she will save his soul from death.
And in 1 Corinthians 5 we read about a professing Christian in the church who is living in sexual immorality, and the church was commanded to make a judgment in that matter and to exercise church discipline in order that the man’s spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord. For, it says that we are to judge those inside the church. And we are to do something to change that situation, and to not sit back in our comfortable seats and point fingers and gossip. And we should be grieving over such situations to the point of action.
And then in Matthew 7:1-5 we read, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” But don’t stop there. Keep reading. For it is talking about hypocritical judging. But then it goes on to say that we must first take the log out of our own eye, and then we will see clearly to take the speck out of the eye of a fellow Christian (or professing Christian). Then we judge rightly. And in John 7:24 it instructs us to not judge by appearances, but to judge with a right judgment. And in John 8:15-16 we are told not to judge according to the flesh, and in 2 Corinthians 10:12 we are not to judge others by ourselves.
So, the Scriptures do not teach that all judging is wrong, and in fact, they encourage judging in some cases. For how can we help a brother or a sister out of sin if we don’t first make a judgment that they need to be brought out of sin, and without us first confronting them in their sin and us encouraging them to repent of their sin and to obey the Lord? But we are to do this in love, and not hypocritically, and with the right motives. And we are not to judge others by ourselves, nor by our culture and traditions, nor by appearances, nor according to the flesh, nor unjustly, but righteously.
And the goal should always be to help others out of sin or to prevent them from falling into sin, or to warn about false teaching so that they are not led astray. For, the motivation should always be love and with the purpose to restore or to strengthen or to encourage, which we are all called to do.
[Gal 6:1-5; Jas 5:19-20; 1 Co 5:1-13; Matt 7:1-5; Jn 7:24, 51; Jn 8:15-16; Rom 2:3; 2 Co 10:12; Rom 12:1-8; Rom 15:14; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Php 2:1-8; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-25]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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